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"Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:41 am
Post subject: "Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...

Back in '05 (on the old board) I posted about an encounter with a couple of "Blackhorse" (11th Armored Cav, of which Roy and I are "alumni" from a distant past Rolling Eyes ) troopers in DFW airport who commented to me about maybe taking their VISMOD OSV's from the National Training Center, Ft. Irwin on their deployment to Iraq as armed vehicles. Then, I never heard anymore about this and obviously, it never happened from what I saw (and heard) from my reunion dinner with the unit in 2006 upon their return. Never came up again and I didn't happen to ask about it on that occasion as it clearly never occurred.

Yesterday, I stumbled onto this interesting page on the 'net by a "C" Trooper with that unit who happened to illuminate that issue retrospectively (as well as some other matters regarding "G" Troop). As his "space" encompasses some nineteen pages and covers ground from NTC-Korea-Iraq (and is slow to load), I've taken the liberty of downloading two pics of the "experimental" OSV that was modified into a "combat" vehicle before the concept was rejected to present here, along with the poster's commentary, but I'll provide the link for your review since his site is interesting and the pics are not my own (nor the commentary) and he should get the credit (I'm just afraid you guys on dial-up will NEVER see it otherwise...and even my work computer had to lay on extra memory to load the page).

So, here ya' go...the "Combat OSV" that wasn't:

uplink.space.com/showf...;fpart=all

While we were training up for our deployment there was a lot of news about a lack of armored vehicles in Iraq. Because of this someone came up with the "brilliant" idea to modify the OSTs with a real .50 cal. machine gun in the place of the sewar pipe for us to use in Iraq.

However, in the end there were several factors that doomed the program. Apparently, it came out in tests that the elevation motor was insuficient to raise the .50 cal. Also, there were questions about the effectiveness of the armor on the turret. After all, the hull may have been a regular '113, but the "armor" on the turret was purely to protect the crew in the turret from rollovers and not designed to take a blast. Furthermore, most of us had a big issue with the fact that the ammo for the .50 cal. could only be re-loaded from the outside of the vehicle, exposing the crew in a firefight. With a growing laundry list of problems that kept pushing back it's development schedule, coupled with its redundancy due to the rapidly increasing number of up-armored humvees in Iraq, the program was canceled with only a single prototype produced.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the one and only prototype of a "combat capable" OST:

This is a close-up of the .50 cal. mount. The two pins that would hold the machine gun in place are visible, with the ammo can on the far side of the mount. The .50 cal. was aimed via a fire-controll system adopted from a Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle.

One of my favorite comments about the concept came from Chapell, one of the guys in my platoon: "They do realise that these are toy tanks, don't they?"

Thank God we didn't have to use these things in Iraq.




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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:06 pm
Post subject: Re: "Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...

The driver's hatch looks like the type used on the M-901 Improved TOW and the FIST-V. Those things are a pain in the ass and I'd like to sock the engineer that came up with it!

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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:10 pm
Post subject: Re: "Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...

Hi Mark! Hi Folks!

- MarkHolloway
The driver's hatch looks like the type used on the M-901 Improved TOW and the FIST-V.


There is NO looks like to it, those vehicles are EX-M901/FIST-V hulls.
Sgt, Scouts Out!

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Sabot
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:16 pm
Post subject: Re: "Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...

They are Ex-M901 ITVs and not ex-M981 FIST-Vs.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:10 pm
Post subject: Re: "Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...

So, further to this discussion (and related to the "Abrams and strange .50 cal. mount" thread) I have been in touch with Jonathon Payne, a veteran of 1/11th Cav in Iraq back in '05 and one of those who was at the dinner it was my privilege to attend upon their return in Bakersfield in early '06. Jonathon has visited the forum here and looked at the thread mentioned above and had some addtional thoughts regarding the "Combat OSV" and sent along a couple of pics with the following remarks that I'll post below. I think he's on to something here...

The existence of the modified OSV was somewhat of a shock to me because up to that point the combat OSV was nothing more than a rumor and I was beginning to wonder if it even existed.

Since that day I have been looking all over the Internet for more pictures of it and maybe some additional information on it because, for some reason, the vehicle fascinates me. Until today, however, I was convinced that the pictures I had took were the only ones to be had. This was until you gave me the link to your message board. I was browsing through the forum and found a thread titled "Abrams and strange 50cal mount". I clicked on it and instantly recognized the CSAMM mount as the same kind of mount on the modified OSV. I clicked on the link to the manufacturers web site, found their photo gallery and sure enough there were two very high resolution photos of the OSV with an M2 in the mount on the Tank and AFV gunnery range at Ft. Irwin. I am including these photos as an attachment.

The manufacturer's web site is: www.gunmasters.com

In hindsight I doubt that if the rumor that the elevation motor couldn't handle the .50 cal. were true that this is the reason the program was canceled. Most likely it was the fact that while the modification was being tested, armor kits as well as purpose built up-armor humvees were rapidly being fielded to Iraq. In the end, the need for the modification was outpaced by other outside events.
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:39 am
Post subject: Re: "Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...

Hi Folks!

Very interesting!

Those OSVs were new rebuilds, lighter that Bradleys, a bit smaller which would help get though build up areas, and more armor that the current Hummer at that time.

Sounds like it might have had some good possiblies if funding had been available and someone was asking for M113 based vehicles.

Thanks for the info guys!
Sgt, Scouts Out!

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General G.S. Patton Jr.
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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:01 pm
Post subject: Re: "Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...

What's wrong with this picture???

It's a standard M2 HB Flex. How's it Fire???? Some poor soul laid stradling behind it exposed on the butterfly??? Mr. Green

They probably didn't have a M2 TT available to mount. Most likely a display only and was not actually fired. M1117's us the M2 electrically fired and charged. Probably something similar was planed for this set up.

Joe D
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:17 pm
Post subject: Re: "Combat" OSV's (OST's) from NTC in Iraq...

YO! Blast from the past from the old board, courtesy of Archive.org...here's the old discussion on this topic..and even the links work!

web.archive.org/web/20...read/59433
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